One of the camera angles that has received a lot of positive feedback from fellow kayak rollers is the overhead shot. So far I have been shooting with a standard 48 inch tripod freestanding on the top of a lifeguard platform that stands at the edge of the pool. This is barely high enough and off to one side, which makes the angle less overhead and more a high side shot. In order to accurately photograph the rolls for the DVD project I wanted to get a camera boom to position the camera vertically above the cockpit to see the full motion of the body position throughout the rolls.
I visited several camera shops today and was surprised by the price tag of a weighted boom, upwards of $400 to get a 6 foot horizontal boom, this is more than I can stomach so I decided to spend a couple of hours today building a boom myself.The finished project cost me $35.67 a much more reasonable price, it uses the standard tripod for a platform and pivot point as well as the source of its adjustment. I did not bother to try and make the camera angle automatically adjust to boom movements, it is a simple fixed angle solution.The boom arm is made from an eight foot long 1/16 thick C section aluminum extrusion, I used 1/16 inch galvanized steel rope for the rigging – my first attempt was without the rigging but then there was a lot of bend in the boom.
The camera mount on the tripod screwed into a thread joiner with a twelve inch length of 1/4 threaded rod screwed into the other end.
Mounted on the end of the rod is half of a bottle screw allowing the tension in the wire to be adjusted.Tomorrow I will test how it works during the next pool session.